Brunk, Henry 1979-06-18

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The Brunks discuss Henry Brunk’s Comedians, the Brunk family and tent show life in general.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Henry Brunk

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: June 18, 1979

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Interviewer: Jerry Martin

Length: 4 hours, 50 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians, Various performers discussed, Difficulty finding plays to perform, In Boise City, Oklahoma (1956), Plays performed, Importance of Toby character in tent shows, Neil Shaffner, Henry Brunk, Harley Sadler, Henry Brunk's Comedians, Various performers listed (1956), Didn't show in 1957, In Boise City (1958), Plays performed, Performers discussed, Book written by Clifford Ashby, Allie Brunk, wife of Glen Brunk, Glen D. Brunk, brother, As a showman, Lost tent show in a fire (1930)

Tape 1, Side 2: Glen D. Brunk (continued), Newspaper article about show (1937), Performers listed, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Newspaper articles about show (1937-1938), Performers listed, Did circle stock from Mangum, Oklahoma, Frank Dalmane, Organized actors' equity in tent shows, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Performers listed (1936), Glen D. Brunk's Comedians, Headquartered in Altur, Oklahoma, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Newspaper articles about show (1937-1938), Performers listed, Did circle stock from Mangum, Oklahoma, Frank Dalmane, Organized actors' equity in tent shows, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Performers listed (1936), Glen D. Brunk's Comedians, Headquartered in Altus, Oklahoma, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Glen D. Brunk worked on show (1936), Performers listed, Anecdote about performer being drunk, Use of cross-over beards, James R. Waite, early tent show man, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Headquartered in Boise City, Earl Grove, musician, Worked on a circus

Tape 2, Side 1: Beginning of tent shows (1910), Chautauqua shows, Tent, stage set-up, Mercedes Brunk, Various shows worked on, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Use of free ticket coupons, Showed simultaneously with another Brunk show, Anecdote about showing immediately after Fred, Brunk's Comedians, Brunk's Comedians, Showed before or after other shows, Competition from Dubinsky Brothers' show, Competition among Brunk brothers, Faye Brunk, Henry's first wife, Illness, death (May 12, 1932), Henry L. Brunk, Show business career, With Ray Howell show (1925-1927), Took out Ray Howell's show (1927), Opened his own show (1929)

Tape 2, Side 2: Anecdote about a goose, Research done by interviewer, Sources of information mentioned, Henry Brunk's Comedians in Boise City, Oklahoma, Anecdotes, Rehearsal locations, Musicians in Boise City discussed, Roy Butterball, C. E. Palmer, Earl Groves, Henry Brunk's show equipment, Chairs were used by an evangelistic group, Sent some items to Texas Tech University Museum, Sold some items in an auction, Boise City High School band, Popularity of tent shows, Past and present, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Bad weather caused difficulties, Clayton, New Mexico, Trucks got stuck (1929), Boise City, Grain doors used for flooring, O'Donnell, Texas (1938), Showed in Boise City (1938), Did circle stock from Mangum, Oklahoma (1938)

Tape 3, Side 1: Brunk's Comedians, Showed in Boise City, Oklahoma, Various dates mentioned, Played performed, Anecdote about a rodeo, Route mentioned, Planned to show in Boise City (1938), Plays to be performed, Walter Pruitt, stage manager and performer, Showed in Boise City (1939), Plays performed, Changed titles of some plays, Piracy of plays, Various plays, playwrights mentioned, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Necessity of good photographs of performers, Showed in Boise City (1952), Prior flood conditions, Problems caused by an ice storm

Tape 3, Side 2: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Fired several people on the show, Reasons, people involved, Showed in Boise City (1952), Plays performed, Performers, Sawdust used on the ground, Set-up site in Boise City, Fred Twyman's show, Sold equipment to Henry Brunk, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Erman Gray, performer (1936), Other performers mentioned, Played opposite the Cole Circus (1958), Dick Ellis, performer, Toby character, Origin, Henry Brunk's comedians (again), Jack Vivian, advance agent (1954), Plays performed (1950), Performers

Tape 4, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Performers mentioned (1950s), Plays performed (1954), Performers, In Rotan, Texas (1937), Fred G. Brunk, Bought a circus (1929), To Arizona (1933), Death (mid-1940s), Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Did circle stock (1938), Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Local newspaper advertising, Harley Sadler did stock in the old theater, Glen D. Brunk, Show business activities, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Used booking agencies, Various agencies discussed, Difficulty finding performers after World War II, 1947 season, Length of tent shows, Tried to hire new people each season, Headquartered in Vernon, Texas (1948, 1949), Charles Brunk, Owner of Brunk's Comedians - Northern (1924), As an advance agent, Jim Sterling, Cannon city, Colorado Record, Photograph of a cat, Doc Little, Cannon City Record, Ellwood Thomas, Cannon City V. F. W., Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Orville Brunk with show (1933-1935)

Tape 4, Side 2: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Orville Brunk with show (continued), Married Adelle Brunk on stage (1934), Tent seating discussed, Various Brunk shows discussed, Henry bought his first outfit (1929), C. F. Elton, manager of Brunk show (1919), Sam Bright, manager of Brunk show, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), First route listed (1929), Showed in Liberal, Kansas (1930s), Anecdote, D. D. Forrester arrested, Canvas sets used, Disadvantages, Photographs of various performers mentioned, Showed in Kiowa, Colorado, Advance agent received 5% of profit, Show timed to harvests, Competition with Harley Sadler

Tape 5, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Showed in Leadville, Colorado, Showed in Gunnison, Colorado, Showed in Boise City, Oklahoma, Conflicts with other entertainment, Unusual costume described, Use of script sales, Henry Brunk, Left show business (1924), Daughter, Joyce Lee Brunk Brueggeman, Harley Sadler with Brunk's Comedians, Brunk's Comedians #7, Henry Brunk's responsibilities, Towns played in northern Missouri, Ray Howell, Brunk show manager, Brunk's Comedians (1920s), Arrangements with various managers, Harley Sadler as a manager

Tape 5, Side 2: Brunk's Comedians (continued), Popularity of plays in various territories, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Wholesomeness of shows, Present television shows discussed, Popularity of leading men, Fred Brunk's Comedians (1928), Orchestra members discussed, Quality, Various photographs of Brunk's Comedians discussed, Story about a $5 bill owned by Henry Brunk, Various photographs of Brunk's Comedians discussed

Range Dates: 1910-1958

Bulk Dates: 1920-1930s

Access Information

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Recording Format Notes:


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